Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

Roasting a chicken is so easy, but so many people are intimidated by having to deal with a whole bird. I love to roast poultry because it provides several meals, and I always make stock with the carcass. Roasters are available at any grocery store, but, if you have the option, choose an organic or free-range bird. In my area, Amish chickens are readily available and are always delicious and free of hormones and other nasty stuff. I prefer a chicken that is about 3.75-4.50 lbs. Err on the side of small rather than large to insure a tender bird. For this recipe, I loosen the skin and massage a butter, lemon and herb mixture between the meat and the skin. However, you can eliminate this step and just stuff the bird with the other ingredients and generously add salt and pepper to the outside of the chicken. The skin will not have the same crispy herb and lemon infused flavor, but it’s a good weekday substitution.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Medium sized Roasting Chicken
  • 1/4 Cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 Sweet yellow onion
  • 4 Cloves of garlic
  • 6-8 Sprigs each fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, or substitute with equal amounts of fresh tarragon and flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 Cup white wine or chicken broth

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the leaves from the stems of 1/2 the herbs and finely chop. Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic.                                                   Grate the zest from 1 lemon.                                                                           In a small bowl, combine softened butter, chopped herbs, lemon zest, and garlic and set aside.                                                                              Rinse chicken and remove any giblets or parts that may be included in the cavity.                                                                                                               Starting at the large cavity opening,  peel the skin away from the chicken to create a pouch between the skin and the meat. If the skin is not pulling away easily, use a large sharp knife to help gently work the skin away from the meat. Try to create as large a pocket area as possible. 

Add the butter mixture to the pocket you’ve created and use your hands (on top of the skin) to gently spread the butter mixture throughout the pocket.                                   Cut the remaining lemon in 1/2 and stuff lemon, onion, and remaining garlic and herb sprigs into the cavity of  the chicken.Place chicken on rack of roasting pan.                                                     Pour wine or chicken broth over top of chicken.                                       Place roasting pan in preheated oven and immediately reduce heat to 325 degrees.                                                                                                            Allow chicken to cook 15-20 minutes per pound, until juices run clear and internal temperature measures 165 degrees. Serves 4-6. Prep Time: 20 Minutes Total Time: 1.5-2.5 hrs. (depending on size of bird)

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Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie is a favorite in our house, and has come to be known by many as the “snow day pie.” Years ago, I agreed to bake a key lime pie for one of my kid’s fundraisers in January (what’s better in the middle of winter than something as summery as key lime pie?).  As it turned out, significant snowfall was predicted for the day of the bake sale. I weighed my options: 1.)  don’t make the pie, and if there’s no snowstorm and school is open, you are a total disappointment. 2.) make the pie, and if it’s a snow day, invite your teacher girlfriends over for pie and mimosas. Obvious choice was #2. Since then, when there has been a threat of snow (to the extent that they would cancel school),  in addition to our other snow day rituals, like wearing our pajamas backwards, flushing ice cubes down the toilet, and putting a spoon outside in the snow, I have made a key lime pie. The tradition has become so popular that I even get text messages asking for assurance that I will be making a pie. It’s really an easy pie to make, and there are plenty of “weekday shortcuts” you can take.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 Lb. graham crackers
  • 4 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 Sticks melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 2 Cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Cup Key lime juice
  • Zest of 1 lime

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 1 Cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Break up the graham crackers and put in a food processor and process until they are crumbs. Add the melted butter, sugar, and salt and pulse until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a deep dish 9-inch pie pan, forming an even layer on the bottom and all sides. Bake the crust for 10-13 minutes (until lightly browned). Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the crust is cooling, whisk together the egg yolks and the lime zest until fluffy (about  3-4 minutes). Gradually add the condensed milk and continue whipping until thick (about 3-4 minutes longer. Slowly add the lime juice and whisk until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15-20 minutes – until the filling has set. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

PREPARE THE WHIPPED CREAM:

Place small metal bowl and the beater attachments of an electric mixer in the freezer for 20 minutes. Using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the the cream, sugar and vanilla in the chilled bowl until nearly stiff.

Using a piping attachment and pastry bag, pipe the whipped cream onto the pie. For a homemade pastry bad, put whip cream in a zipper storage bag and cut a small piece off one of the bottom corners of the bag. Or, just lump a dollop of whipped cream on each slice of pie. Garnish each slice with a slice of lime.

Weekday Shortcuts:

Use prepared graham cracker crust

Use prepared whipped cream

Cream of Corn Soup with Crabmeat

Cream of Corn Soup with Crabmeat
So, my first posted recipe is a result of Valentine’s Day leftovers. We celebrated Valentine’s Day (I typically boycott the holiday, but I was outvoted by two children and an over-zealous boyfriend) with a Crab leg dinner. We had a little leftover crab, but not enough for a main dish, so I decided I should add it to a soup. I’ve made corn and crab chowder in the past, and it’s always well received, but I was looking for something a little different. I decided to make a traditional cream based soup and considered many options that would pair well with crab (squash, sweet potato, asparagus or corn). I settled with corn because of my love for crab and corn chowder. I love the flavor added by roasting fresh vegetables, but, obviously, fresh corn is not available in February. I used frozen corn and the result was surprisingly good, but I can’t wait to try this in the summer with fresh corn roasted on the grill. The corn flavor in this soup was amazing, and it showcased the crab well. Go to the recipes tab for the full recipe.

If you are looking for a thick and hearty chowder, this is NOT it (but I will post a recipe for that in the future). This is a delicate cream soup (think: elegant dinner party) that is packed with flavor. It is a rich, flavorful, yet delicate soup. The recipe is as follows:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Cups Fresh (or frozen, if off-season) Corn Kernels
  • 2 TBS. Olive Oil
  • 3 Cups of Milk
  • 4 TBS. Butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 White or Sweet Onion – finely chopped
  • 2 Cups Heavy cream
  • 1 Cup Lump Crab Meat
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 4 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread corn kernels on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 TBS. olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast corn in oven for 20-25 minutes or until slightly browned (toss corn at least once during roasting period).

Roasted Corn

Saute chopped onion in remaining TBS. of olive oil. In a blender or food processor, combine roasted corn (reserve a small handful of corn for garnish if desired), sauteed onion, and milk and blend on high until well processed.

Combine and blend corn and milk
Pour blended corn mixture into a sieve
Pass Mixture through a sieve to extract liquid

Over a medium bowl strain corn mixture (pressing to release of the liquid) through a fine sieve. (Don’t be disappointed at the small amount of liquid produced- it is packed with flavor). In a medium saucepan, combine corn liquid with heavy cream and simmer until heated through. Portion soup among bowls and add just over a TBS. of crab to the center of each bowl (and surround with reserved roasted corn). Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.

And so begins the blog…

Today is my first day as a blogger. I’ve learned quite a bit so far, but am rather questioning my reasoning for adding another thing to my already busy life. Well, the answer is that I love to cook, and to share food, recipes and tips with others; I love fresh and authentic  ingredients and  enjoy sleuthing out places to find them. I love holidays, family traditions, dinner and brunch with friends, and a table well set for the occasion. And, while I’m not particularly talented, I love to write. Oh, and Bryan (my guy) just bought a very nice (read: expensive) digital camera which I hope to put to good use.

So, you may be wondering about the significance of my blog name. Well, for those of you who have never created a blog, believe me, it’s difficult to think of a name that is clever but also gives insight as to the nature and content of your blog. There are a couple of cool internet tools that  help you create a name, so that’s where I started. I used Wordoid and entered “kitchen.” While the generator didn’t exactly come up with kitchensync , it came up with something close and that’s when I had my “ah ha” moment. I thought, sync, as in harmony, but also sink which is an integral part of any kitchen, and, finally, the expression “everything but the kitchen sink.” My pride was quickly deflated when I discovered that I was not the first person to think that kitchensync was a cool blog name – yes, the name was spoken for. So, I added my name and settled on Kath’sKitchen Sync.

Next came the challenge of adding those key words to describe what your blog is about. Well, while I don’t intend to blog about everything but the kitchen sink, I don’t want to be limited. I’m not entirely sold on my current alliterative tag words, but they will have to do for now. If anyone has any suggestions, please do tell.

So, it is my hope that this blog will be a convenient way for me to share recipes and such with friends, family, and any random stranger who might have taste and interests similar to mine. I hope I will be able to set a regular blogging schedule, so that I can keep things fresh, but we all know my Facebook track record is not so great. Cheers to a new adventure!